Weisensee

This is a German tv series I can recommend watching for all those interested in not just English-language productions. I’ve just finished watching the second series, and it’s a really excellent, very entertaining, very engaging production.

Weisensee is about two families, living in DDR (East Germany, that is) during the 80’s. It’s about love, power, betrayal, like any soap. But what makes it good is firstly the complexity of the characters; nobody is just one thing, they’re all torn betweeen loyalities and desires and fear. Secondly, it’s always interesting to have a story take place during this time and this place, since it was a time when Stasi (the East German secret police) control and surveillance of their people was absurdly extensive. Everyone could be the target of having their phones tapped, their families threatened, getting fired for saying the wrong thing and always living in fear of being betrayed by someone, maybe someone you love and trust. The paranoia ran rampant, as you can understand. Particularly since this was a crumbling society, with not many more years to exist.

Apparently, a third series will be made as well, taking place after the wall came down. So, highly recommended!

My summer at home in Sweden 2014: sea and beach in the south (and heatwave!) and hiking in the mountains further north (in very pleasant temperatures). A lovely summer, indeed! :)

The Leftovers (2014)

I find myself quite mesmerized by this series - it’s very mysterious and very gloomy, but also very, very intriguing. I love the sense of grief and bewilderment which looms over each scene, suggesting that it’s about being left behind and not whatever happened to the departed. I do believe we probably won’t find out what actually happened before, but only what happens next. It’s part of what I like, actually. I’m kind of allergic to too overtly religious suggestions, so there’s a fine balance here (and considering the scarily religious ending to Lost, I have good reason to be a little apprehensive). 

It’s quite earnest, yes, but not without its humour; I find Kevin Garvey’s (Justin Theroux) troubles quite entertaining, actually. There’s just no end to his problems! Small and big (lost shirts, alarms, dogs, stoneings…). And he just fumbles about so beautifully.

So, potentially frustrating to watch (what is the Guilty Remains about, you must wonder), but still mesmerizing and very moving.

Thanks to the very kind Juan, there’s now a translation of what Marco Berger is saying in the interview in the above video. Thank you Juan! I can’t wait to see Mariposa. :)

He mentions that he wrote the script, started after Plan B. It got dragged until after Ausente and Hawaii. Mariposa is a mix between comedy and love. The movie plays with different possibilities of the same story, on occassion returning to the same places several times. It’s also complex in the filming, they filmed in a lot of places in Buenos Aires, in a town in the mountain s called Tandil, with buildings, very urban…

The crew is basically the same, Tomas Perez Silva, Director of Photography (also worked on the first short), the same music artist (Pedro Irusta), Maria Fernandez Aramburu (Assistant Director), there are a lot of new people, but to be honest, he’s happy.

He talks about the stigma that the first few movies he has made have a gay theme, but this is a love story with a girl and a guy. He still follows a script more similar to Plan B, because it’s very complex, like a circle, where that structure is absent in Ausente or Hawaii where there is more of the contemplation. This movie tries to come full circle (?) and end with a union, just like Plan B.

He had other actors in mind, but lamentably the movie was delayed in 2010, the actors are very young, and they’re still growing. Ailin Salas, who saw Ausente and liked it, agreed on the role. Julian Infantino, Malena Villa, just found them in a casting. Javier de Pietro, who was als o in Ausente. It was a bit difficult with the older casting because there is going to be a time jump decades later and they needed actors that would resemble the younger ones, with their characteristics and personalities, so they don’t get confused.

He likes directing the actors the most, studied a lot in theater. In movies, the most important thing would be the actor, because it’s the public that comes and watches someone.

Mariposa references various films, one of them Los Amantes del Circulo Polar, there are two or three subtle references in Mariposa that not everyone might notice; La Double Vie de Véronique, since it also plays with this idea of a multiverse, different worlds; The Cement Garden…

At last something more about Marco Berger’s new film Mariposa! This is a program about different Argentinian directors, but from 7.30 and 5 mins onward, there’s an interview with Marco as well as footage from the filming of Mariposa.

As usual, if someone would be helpful enough to tell me what he’s saying, I’d be very, very grateful. 

He mentions La Double Vie De Veronique as a reference, which makes me most pleased since that is one of my favourite films. :D

How I love the World Cup! It’s really the only time I watch football (except for the European Championships), because the World Cup is very special. There’s just no end to the drama arising from this event! The tears, the politics, the love, the hate.

I love how the WC is one of very few topics which can be talked about, at the same time, all over the world. It’s like a huge, global, bonding party (for a while, at least). I love that there can be teams from all corners of the earth participating and I wish there would be even more success for the African teams. Football is amazing that way, since it’s such a simple game which can be so easily played, even if you’re poor. (Let’s just not mention the horrifically corrupt FIFA and everything else bad which comes with all the money and fame.)

I also love how it’s also a bit of a vanity competition. There should be a seperate section for style points - it’s all about hair, tattoos and whatnot. But the best thing is how football is one of those instances where it’s quite all right for (straight?) men to kiss, hug and throw yourself on each other. It’s quite touching and adorable to watch. I do wish it was ALWAYS OK for men to be this touch-feely with each other, without it necessarily being sexual (or maybe rather REGARDLESS if it’s sexual or not).

This year, because it’s been an Argentinian flavoured year and since Sweden didn’t qualify, I decided beforehand to root for Argentina. So that’s worked out pretty well.

VAMOS ARGENTINA!

Harry Lloyd in Closer to the Moon

Ah, I adore him. Too bad I haven’t seen this yet.

I was reminded of him as I watched The Invisible Woman last night (and I liked it very much!) about his great great grandfather Charles Dickens. :)

The Killing - season 4.

Soon, very, very soon! I’ve got Netflix and all now, and I’m most grateful for their contribution. :)

Anonymous said: Hey! I wanted to ask you if you've seen the Argentinian movie called Plata Quemada? If not, I fully recommend it. It's one of my favorite movies. It focuses on a band of 3 thieves who have to go into hiding, and how they cope with the situation, especially the two guys who are in a relationship. It's very realistic, it has a really good storyline and the love story between the two guys is extremely well built, and they're perfectly portrayed aghh 10/10. Excellent movie.

I have seen it, yes! But it’s been a while, so I can’t really remember exactly what I thought about it. Very dramatic by the end, I seem to recall.

I’ll have to watch it again, I think! Thanks for the reminder. :)

Out in the dark (2012)

I recently watched this film for a second time, and found I liked it better now. The first time, I was a bit distracted with some poor acting from one of the leads, but it didn’t bother me now. In fact, I think this is a very interesting film, in several ways. Firstly because it’s about being gay and Palestinian - an added difficulty in an already difficult situation. The film shows the extremely limited choices a guy like Nimer has in life, not least because he’s not free to move around like he wants to and which is something I take for granted. Also because he’s a guy who just wants to live a peaceful, normal life and knows the sacrifices he’ll have to do.

Secondly, the central love story is sweet because it’s kind of like a Romeo & Julia story, i.e. focusing on falling love with someone on the ‘wrong’ side. It’s a problem for them being gay in a bigger sense, but it’s not a problem on a personal level. It’s just the way it is. And I love that the film doesn’t make it an issue for them at all. In that sense, this love story is treated like any straight love story would be. It’s quite refreshing.

So, despite the fact that the guy who plays Nimer is more focused on posing and looking seductive than do any real acting, he’s adorable and so is Roy. And it’s a film well worth seeing.